Síldarvinnslan’s freezer trawler Blængur has recently completed a trip in the Norwegian zone of the Barents Sea, and what attracted interest was that Blængur’s catch rates with its single trawl were not far behind those of the twin-rig trawlers on the same fishing grounds.
The trip’s catch was a green weight of 1175 tonnes of fish, valued at ISK635 million (cif), making this one of the highest grossing trips ever for an Icelandic groundfish trawler.
The trawl used this trip was a H-Toppur 127, and according to Hampiðjan Akureyri’s manager, fishing gear technologist Hermann Guðmundsson, the new trawl appears to have performed well.
‘The H-Toppur trawl is designed for all the ground-hugging species that are fished around Iceland. The headline height is a maximum of 6.1 metres and it’s rigged onto a 40.80 metre rockhopper footrope. It measures around 100 metres all the way back to the codend,’ he said, commenting that the thinking behind the design was to develop an all-round trawl with both spread and height. Going by the reports from Blængur’s crew, this has been achieved.
Sigurður Hörður Kristjánsson was Blængur’s skipper for this trip and he said that the H-Toppur did well in enabling them to keep up with the twin-riggers. He commented that there is noticeably less cod to be seen in Norwegian waters than in previous years, while species such as golden redfish, haddock and shrimp are flourishing.
According to co-skipper Bjarni Ólafur Hjálmarsson, the new trawl designed by Hermann Guðmundsson is on the same lines as the gear Blængur has been towing for the last two or three years.
‘We have been using a H-Topper 127 and also a H-Toppur 115. This trawl has performed exceptionally well. We normally have the headline at around 6.5 metres and a spread of 163 to 182 metres between the doors,’ he said.
He added that the trawls are always rigged on rockhoppers to minimise damage, and the gear is squared with a pair of 11 square metre, 5200kg Sparrow doors.